It might seem controversial to say Scott Schebler is an above-average Major League Baseball player. I don’t mean he projects to be above-average next year, or something; I mean he’s above-average now. And has been. Recently we’ve seen comments from many on Twitter and on the hallowed pages of Redleg Nation calling for Schebler to be benched or demoted. I’m here to say that is poppycock (even if those comments came before Schebler’s current hot streak).
Consider the following chart. This is Schebler’s career batting line broken up by season.
Notice he’s played 124 games (as of Monday afternoon) and amassed 413 plate appearances. This is also known as “not a full season of playing time.”
Now notice the WAR column. He’s produced 1.9 WAR in less than a full season. An average player produces 2.0 WAR of value in 600 plate appearances, by definition.
What does Schebler project to do over his first 600 PA? Well, if his next 187 PA are like his previous 413 PA, he projects to be worth 2.8 WAR. Solidly above-average. If you like the Baseball-Reference flavor of WAR, Schebler has amassed 1.6 WAR and projects for 2.3 WAR over 600 PA.
Let’s review; an .802 OPS, a 111 wRC+, and 2.8/2.3 WAR… This is not the type of person we demote.
Schebler is a bit older than a traditional prospect at 26, but athletic power hitters can sometimes peak in their late 20s. If the Reds are getting Scott Schebler’s peak for league-minimum and arbitration salary levels, seems to me like he’s a pretty valuable asset. Remember, league-average play for cheap is valuable.
If I were Brick Prilliams (bit of a stretch?), I’d be letting Schebler, Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Jesse Winker each play 4-5 times a week.
Schebler is too good to forget, yet Winker also deserves a shot. Duvall has earned himself extended playing time, and Billy is perhaps the greatest ever (Can I get that raise now, Chad?). We need this 4- man outfield platoon.
Make it happen, Brick Prilliams!!
Stat lines courtesy of FanGraphs. BWar courtesy of Baseball-Reference.